Thursday, 25 June 2009

Peacocks Dancing ~ Sharon Maas

In the suburbs of Georgetown, a small willful girl is growing up; a daughter of an easygoing man of Indian descent, and a mother she barely remembers. While she is still small, she must face the motherless world, into which a new entrant comes, an alien being, a horror of a new mother, and to tell the truth, nothing is as it used to be, for the stepmother is one great catastrophee, as Rita notes in her first diary. In time the small girl learns how to avoid the meddling substitute for a mother; that is not so easy, but neither is it too hard, given that the latter is not mean, but merely has a weird set of whimsical demands that are not a bother to comply with, merely a nuisance, or are easily worked around. As years pass, the situation stabilizes, and the abandoned girl grows into a wild child who is soon to become an equally wild woman. A permanent misfit, but despite that fact she is growing and developing as any other child with a normal family. Rita is charismatic, always has been. Initially, it is the queue of children who look up to her, knowing that no day is wasted when wild Rita Maraj is going to lead them to one adventure or another, devise a prank or two, or tell them stories.

The author says ......
"When I started writing this story I did not plan to enter Bombay's notorious Red Light District. I certainly did not plan to write a book ‘about’ child prostitution. I intensely dislike political manifestos disguised as novels; fiction, for me, is character driven, and the moment a novel becomes a platform for the author to rant about this or that social issue it loses its life. And yet this darkness exists, and that's where my cast of characters found themselves, and that's where I, their creator, had to follow them. But I refuse to wallow in sorrow and darkness forever, and I'll never to let my characters do so. I believe intensely in the transformation of pain into its opposite through spiritual growth, and for this reason, and this reason alone, I allowed my Peacocks Dancing characters to walk through that dark valley."

On the back cover of this one it has a recommendation from Barbara Erskine that says she was kept captivated with this book from the start, that is the reason i picked up this one from the table in the Community Centre library, i wanted to see what type of books she likes to read. I really enjoyed this one even though it was not a subject i would normally have chosen to read about. You can read about some of her other books and Sharon herself here


Karan said...

Normally I'd avoid a book that covers such a subject but this one sounds intriguing Julie. Will keep an eye open next time I'm in my favourite haunt. :0)